Fed up with traffic, cardinal untangles jam


MOTORISTS who resorted to prayers after they were caught in a gridlock in Santo Tomas, Batangas, last Sunday thanked the heavens after a familiar face in the Catholic Church hierarchy jumped out of his car and single-handedly untangled the jam.

Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales took matters into his own hands as he traversed a typhoon-lashed highway to help settle a traffic dispute.

“We were trapped for over an hour and we were rushing to another engagement. I said to myself: ‘We cannot take this anymore,’” the retired 83-year-old cardinal said on Tuesday.

With no traffic policemen in sight amid the onslaught of Typhoon Ineng (international name: Goni), Rosales said he zipped up his raincoat and walked nearly a kilometer to find out what was causing the mile-long snarl, the likes of which have become a daily misery for Filipinos.

“We’re all in a hurry,” he said to the erring motorists, after discovering six cars fighting over two lanes in Santo Tomas town.

As his boots filled up with rainwater, the hooded old man used hand signals to force the vehicles to back up, freeing up the jam.

The rain later let up to reveal a giant crucifix peeking out of his jacket. The chastened motorists then got out of their vehicles to kiss his ring.

“They were very apologetic,” Rosales said of the culprits.

About 80 percent of the Philippines’ 100 million population are Roman Catholic, who are considered among the world’s most devout.

Last January, six million attended Pope Francis’ rain-soaked Manila Mass.

Traffic jams in the Philippine capital of 12 million had worsened in recent months, as the government rushed to build elevated tollways to accommodate the growing number of vehicles acquired amid a booming economy.

Rosales, who is one of the four cardinals in the country, said he endured his share of hours-long traffic jams during his eight-year term as archbishop of Manila beginning in 2003.

But for as long as the gridlocks are there, according to him, he would serve as a make-do traffic policeman given the chance.

“Next time, I’ll be sure to bring a whistle,” Rosales said, laughing.



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  1. Who knows, maybe it would take a man-of-the-cloth to unTAnGLE the traffic curse since it has already reached evil proportions ? Why doesn’t the good Cardinal run for the Presidency (and use as slogan “Walang Traffic Na Daan” slogan) or quicker replace mostly-absent-lately MMDA top honcho Tolentino so the latter can campaign full time and not during his official time at his office where he is supposed to be all the times ? Anyway Tolentino prophecy-ed yata more than once that it will take a miracle to untie the Gordian traffic knot. A Cardinal has better chances of creating that needed miracles than double-jobbing layperson Tolentino. Maybe the good Cardinal can, like Moses, part the Pasig River at all places near the many choke traffic points during peak times so instant roadways can be made. Ayos !

  2. God bless you, Cardinal Rosales! Do mobilize your priests to untangle metro Manila’s traffic jams. The presence of priests in cassock or clerical shirt with a detachable clerical collar will make motorists calm, patient, and forgiving. Eventually gov’t authorities will catch the “Holy Spirit” and be enlightened to build more and better roads/bridges/railway system that’ll lead to other places in the Philippines, thus allowing metro Manila to be decongested as people will then flock to other cities being fully developed due to numerous good roads/bridges/railway system…With the Holy Spirit, corruption will be gone…then the whole Philippines, including Pagasa Island in the Kalayaan municipality(in Palawan) will be a prime tourist and investment spot in Asia!Amen!

  3. laguatanlawzen.com on

    This monstrous traffic jam in metro manila can never be solved unless the President or any President for that matter has the political will to solve the monstrous traffic problems. The government must construct two or three levels of concrete elevated road looping around metro Manila. There is so much money (pork barrel money) corrupted by corrupt politicians which is more than enough to fund and solve this monstrous traffic jam. This sanamagan government headed by a son-of-bitch President will go down the drain.

    • The government steals so much money there is not enough left to undertake big projects. The entire infrastructure of the country has been ruined the past 5 years.
      All the government ever does is hold press conferences so they can get their picture in the paper and vomit about their superhuman efforts and concern for the problem.
      They have done absolutely nothing in the past 5 years except steal as much as possible.